Why do I have a Twitter? So I can passive aggressively complain about the worst part of my day in under 140 words. Why do I have an Instagram? So I can leak my most attractive pictures, which may or may not be false advertising, depending on the strategic contouring and filter. Why do I have a Facebook? So I can check up on how my great aunt in Florida is handling retirement and also be up to date on how my favorite teacher’s dog is recovering from surgery. Is any of the above the kind of answer that the pretentious middle-aged adult is looking for when they question what I’m doing as I scroll through my newsfeed? Probably not.
But why is it suddenly so frowned upon to be caught skimming through my Twitter feed? Social media is seemingly harmless if you disregard the unhappy teenagers that bully each other and the grandmothers who religiously comment on any picture of you and the opposite sex. Social media is merely a way to pass time before my class starts, or something to look at as my ex is rounding the corner. Social media is not something I dwell on, nor is it something I stare at blankly when I’m at lunch with my friends.
Social media is more than just a place to bully the weak and circulate gossip for an audience of your 930 closest friends. There was bullying, gossip, and mean girls before Ask.fm. There will always be people meddling in your business with or without Facebook. And there will always be those obnoxious people who boast their achievements regardless of whether there is a 140 character platform for them to do so.
Facebook; Twitter; Instagram; Tumblr– whatever you decide to glance at is not something you should feel ashamed about doing. Social media is an outlet for people to stay up to date with people they care about and people they haven’t seen in years. Obviously, there will be mean posts here and there, and sometimes people will use their status update as an outlet to brag about their newest car. However, maybe your cousin needs that vent after her long shift and maybe that former co-worker deserves to brag about his new Range Rover. Don’t take social media so seriously and pin it as something dangerously addictive just because the boy next to you is reading a Tumblr post instead of forcing small talk.
I don’t feel guilty for asking someone to take my picture with my friends so that I can display the moment. I’m not uploading that picture primarily for my followers to ‘like’ the photo, I’m uploading it so that I can remember how happy I was in that exact moment and go back to look later. I shrug my shoulders when my mom asks why I’m always on my phone, because I know I’m not. I use social media in my down time, because I like to see my funniest friend’s live tweets about dinner with her wacky nana. I don’t mind when the kid I barely know that sits next to me in my lecture hall decides he’d rather watch Vines than talk to me. I’m sure I’m not nearly as funny, anyway. Lastly, I just don’t see why we would ever demonize a way to talk, share, and laugh with people who are more than an arm’s length away.
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